i craft for my mental health! (and other benefits)

I have a bit of a lighter post today, talking about ways crafting helps my mental health and wellbeing. I’m excited!

I use yarn arts (knitting, crocheting, etc.) as my example of a craft, but of course woodworking, painting, DIYing, etc. are equally legitimate.

A step in the upward spiral

Particularly people with depression and ADHD struggle to activate – do certain things. Taking one step in what’s called the upward spiral can help.

The upward spiral is the opposite of the downward spiral that we go down when we become depressed. The upward spiral is when we’re on the up and up, when we’re on the way up. You don’t think you way out of depression; you do your way out of depression or the depressive state. If you were to work on your craft, that is one step in the upward spiral.

Picking up your craft begins to build momentum. It’s encouraging, too because steps in the upward spiral are cumulative – just like meditation for example – and build upon one another. They don’t all have to be done one after another,: you’ll receive more benefits the more upward spiraling you do.

Mindfulness/mindlessness activity

Crafting can be either a mindful or mindless activity.

Mindful: If you’re sitting there, feeling the fabric, the yarn on your fingers and the cool knitting needles, counting the stitches carefully, you’re being mindful.

Mindless: You are really focused on TV and your fingers are happy to have a single-crochet-only project.

Something you can look forward to

When I first started knitting, then crocheting, I remember I just wanted to come home as early as possible so I could practice or learn something new or watch a YouTube video about it.

Improves self-esteem and self-image

For me, crafting allows accomplishments along the way. Like wow, I really just learned how to knit a sleeve, do a knit stitch, bind off, single crochet. Once you learn the basics – which, as you learn the basics you’re also learning so much including the building basics of the crafts – it makes it so easy to learn new skills in knitting and crocheting, and I’m guessing any craft.

It’s giving: inspiration and energy

Going on Pinterest or following crafty influencers always inspires me to keep creating and look for new projects.

Serotonin… repeatedly

Every time you open your closet or see something created by you, you get that little bit of a rush and a happy feeling and proud accomplishment. Also, it’s a huge confidence booster to wear something of your very own creation.

Craftin’ style for all moods

Whether you want to be focused, challenged, or a mindless projects, you can do that. Even if you’re angry. I mean, every mood.

Abundance

There’s no way to run out of patterns, colors, stitches, things to make, people to make for. And new crafts to begin. Creativity is FLOWY and so abundant. By crafting, you’re also reminded that your job, your stress, your (insert stressor here) is NOT your whole life.

Community

Like all the best things in life, crafting leads to community. Plus, many times crafting is about what you can create for others.

You’re allowed to have fun!

Pick up a craft and have some fun. You’re also allowed to do and make things and not get paid for them. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be productive. Let’s normalize not monetizing/optimizing everything, please. If you are struggling with the idea that all waking moments need to be productive, just know that when you’re crafting, you’re literally doing and creating and producing. So take that, guilt.


Crafting. Is. Good. For. You. Do more of it this year.

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